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Study finds drivers engage in many distracting behaviors

Some Ohio drivers may disapprove of others using cell phones while driving, but it might not stop them from doing so themselves. This was one of the findings of a survey conducted by Root Insurance, a company that gives discounts to drivers who set aside their phones while driving.

Nearly everyone, 99 percent, said phones were one of the top distractors for drivers. Almost half said they thought it was a danger, but many also said they engaged in the same behaviors themselves. Some of the top phone-related distractions they cited were group texts or chats, social media and streaming media. Many said they would give Uber or Lyft drivers bad ratings if they texted while driving, and many also said they believed themselves to be better drivers than those for Uber and Lyft.

Using phones while driving was not the only distracting behavior drivers reported engaging in. Others were shaving, putting on makeup, fixing hair, changing clothes and playing with a pet. Furthermore, drivers reported not steering with their hands at some points and using their chins, knees or other body parts instead.

The study found that drivers spend about an hour and a half weekly, or an average of 13 minutes per day, using mobile devices while driving. The presence of law enforcement did not change behavior for 38 percent.

Unfortunately, distracted driving can lead to serious motor vehicle accidents. When these accidents occur, determining which driver is at fault can be important since that driver may owe compensation to people who are injured. The driver's employer may be liable as well if the driver was on the job at the time. Injured people might want to talk to an attorney about getting compensation. Some insurance companies may not offer enough or may try to attribute injuries to another cause.

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